The visit made for an interesting day with sign makers, existing and potential customers, being among the visitors.
One new product on show was nylon coating for poles or steelwork on signs, available in gloss finish in a range of colours. The coating is resistant to knocks, light impacts, solvents, and abrasives such as salt, sea and sand. Designed not to chip or crack in service, it is ideal for landscaped areas where strimmers are used around the bottom of poles.
Chris Burton, Managing Director of Simplex, showed visitors another new addition to the company's range - anti-graffiti lacquer. For the open day the lacquer had been applied over a panel with vinyl lettering, but it can also be used on panels prior to vinyl lettering. It is also equally effective on screen printed and digitally printed panels and a wide range of substrates including powder coat or wet sprayed metal panels and structures, foamex, and painted MDF.
The new anti-graffiti lacquer has a clear gloss surface finish, which allows permanent markers, aerosol paints, acrylic paints and dyes to be simply wiped away using the approved cleaning fluid from Simplex.
On-site spraying is also available so furniture in a park or other public place, for example, can be protected the same way. The lacquer has been fully tested and approved by Railtrack for which it is recommended for train rolling stock.
The anti-graffiti lacquer was demonstrated to be easily removable with anti graffiti cleaner which is available from Simplex.
The Pole and Plank system is an important part of Simplex's range and attracted plenty of interest. Pole and Plank is designed to avoid the shortcomings associated with similar products.
The planks locate inside the post channel to provide the panels with extra support. A simple yet clever locating method uses steel pins screwed into the ends of the plank. This gives a greater tolerance in the extrusion and therefore less resistance as the plank slides down the pole freely without the need of a heavy hammer.
The posts are designed to include integral ribs, which allow for the insertion of a standard 60x40mm steel hollow box section and results in a snug fitting internal steel support, effectively becoming part of the pole and providing extra strength on large signs.
Four pole types are available - round, quad slot, square and D shaped plus a gently curving walltrack. Composite holder allows for a single 3mm sheet of Dibond or aluminium to be slid between round poles for a more price conscious project.
One further advantage of the Pole and Plank system is that it allows for 2mm aluminium or composites, and is approved for use with Dibond from Alcan Composites, offering choice in finish and the durability and quality of Dibond.
Visitors at the open day also saw a mixture of letters fabricated in-house at Simplex, extruded profiles and sign systems.
The HB Modular Sign System, a recent addition to the company's range, is an elegant, robust and flexible solution for all internal signing requirements. It comprises strong, lightweight, extruded interchangeable aluminium profiles and signs are only 6mm thick, with no visible frames or fixings.
The Accord15 modular system from Apco is a complete modular system for virtually any signage need, from simple personnel and identification signs to complex directionals and directories. On show were both the End Clip System and Side Track System, which share a wide range of modular components.
Braille and tactile splash panels from Simplex's System 4 also attracted much interest. System 4 is Simplex's versatile curved directory system whereby a sign can have its appearance completely changed without replacing the whole unit.
Machinery for cutting, rolling, guillotining, routing and engraving was also demonstrated.
The front panel constructed using a Dibond panel with edges routed and folded.
Three companies that supply and work closely with Simplex had stands at the open day - Nova Aluminium Systems, Alcan Composites and Sign Gear Systems.
Nova Aluminium Systems:
Nova Aluminium Systems supplies the sign industry with aluminium profiles for the production of sign boxes, frames, directional signage and overhead lighting requirements. Simplex and Nova have shared the design of the Pole and Plank system which has proved to be such a success.
Paul Vickery (Director) was showing Nova's robust single sided flexible faced sign box system (see photo).Nova's sign box system has easy access, to the tensioning bolts and for maintenance to tubes and gear trays.
Simplex uses Dibond by Alcan Composites extensively, most notably for its Pole and Plank systems but also for trays, fascias and specialist bespoke fabrications. Dibond has significant benefits compared to similar looking products coming from East Asia, especially its excellent durability, whatever the weather, and identical colour finish from different batches.
In addition, many imported products contain lead and cadmium so cannot be recycled, at a time when customers are increasingly requesting ethical products from sign makers. Alcan Composites has set up a recycling facility for Dibond with its distribution partners, Robert Horne Sign & Display and Thyssen Krupp Materials, where off-cuts are collected free of charge and almost 100 per cent recycled.
On display were some recently developed new finishes, such as the Dibond Stucco, which has an uneven raised texture of traditional stucco plaster with a highly reflective surface.
Sign Gear Systems:
In answer to one sign maker's question about how easy it is to replace an LED, Guy Young, Business Development Executive of Sign Gear Systems, gave a quick demonstration.
With enthusiasm, he cut the cable either side of an LED in a chain and replaced it, without having to strip any wires, and re-connected using just 3M Scotchlok crimps and hand crimping tool. He didn't even have to turn off the power as LEDs are low voltage. The LED replacement took only seconds.
Other demonstrations on Sign Gear Systems' stand emphasised that all LEDs are not equal, using his past experience and with the aid of a calculation tool, he showed how to use the right number and type of LED for each application, and the illumination of various signs and built-up letters using LEDs. With LEDs that can give from a gentle glow to over to 3 meters of intense illumination, Sign Gear Systems displayed LEDs for all applications.
Further information on the Simplex range can be found at www.simplexltd.com or by telephoning 01903 750333.
Contact Nova Aluminium Systems at www.nova-aluminium.com or tel. 01179 556463.
Contact Alcan Composites at www.alcancomposites.com or tel. 01977 681 782.
Contact Sign-Gear Systems Limited at www.signgear.co.uk or tel. 01527 547521.